* Posts by Wellyboot

1964 posts • joined 24 Apr 2018

Privacy watchdog steps up fight against Europol's hoarding of personal data

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EuroPlod doing what Plod does

Individuals with no links to criminal activity - yet.

EuroPlods mindset in a nutshell.

California to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2035

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Re: America without V8's just isn't America

It might be petrol prohibition but the V8 will never be banned!

Everyone will know the smell of homemade ethanol stills. Oldtimers with recipes for 'super' and can gap a plug are destined to become mid 21st century folk heros.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up

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Re: And don't work too fast either!

Ah, a classic youthful error, assuming you're the first to think of something and not thinking through what's likely to happen next...

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Re: Bank Accounts

Yes, but it's not going to out by more than 5p and always in the customers favour.

This could be one of those 'rare as rocky horse droppings' events where someone in financial manglement made a sensible decision in order to avoid lots of fractions of pennies.

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The d in £sd

d - denarii : From the Roman coinage.

As a side note the £ sign is just an L with a cross stroke, the L from Librae and s is Solidii both from the Roman.

Lindbeige is your man here. (about 5 mins into the video)


Edit: Norman beat me to it :)

Scientists use supercritical carbon dioxide to power the grid

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Re: Heat engines

A very simplified example to illustrate this point -

Your toaster literally gets red hot, all the excess heat radiates away without problem.

Wrap the toaster in a thin blanket*, the heat can't leave quickly enough and eventually... oh dear.

Toaster > Earth / Blanket > global warming.

*Do not try this at home.

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Re: Meh

At some point in time every new technology has it's first 'real world' moment, they're almost all at the smallest scale where the engineering is valid and I'd hazard a guess that the first solar connection to grid wasn't at any larger capacity.

That was fast: MetaGuard emerges as an 'incognito mode' for the metaverse

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Re: "Coincidentally, VRChat has its own premium subscription ..."

Lip service - As in kiss goodbye

NASA selects 'full force' for probe into UFOs

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Re: 100k a year?

It'll cover the flight/hotel costs bringing them together for the inaugural meeting!

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Re: Wait...

I'm more inclined to burgers.

Mouse hiding in cable tray cheesed off its bemused user

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Re: Wireless Mice

Of course the MD knows better than anyone (because he's the MD^) how to do stuff, had the lappy continued to work (out of pure luck*) then his money saving idea would have been extended to everyone else thus proving his superior level of genius.

^Many MDs are expert at 'something', the smart ones know when they've stepped away from that.

*The few Vaio I've seen had very delicate keyboards that fall apart far too easily.

Tesla expands Powerwall-to-grid program to cover most of California

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Re: A good start... but V2G is better...

They could purchase the battery packs in bulk at lower cost and give it to you FoC, you'd benefit by having the pack to draw from instead of the grid when they don't need it.

but that would mean them spending their money instead of yours...

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: $2/kwh is a lot of money

'Correctly sized' is the issue, you'll need to know your normal hour by hour power draw over a year (8,000+ data points) then install the solar+battery to fit.

The problem comes when a family on a tight budget looks at their numbers and finds they'll need double the installation that the single bloke across the road has to get the bill down to the same level.

If the power company decides that batteries are the way forward for load balancing, they can either buy their own battery packs and slap them next to the distribution substations or pay outright for a set to hang off my solar, I'll be happy to let them and I know which one will be cheaper by the mw.

If I decide to install batteries to compliment my solar I'll make sure that come an 'event' my money is keeping my lights on and not subsidising a power companies fubar. As it stands at the moment my solar is useless during a power cut because the system disconnects at mains failure to avoid putting power into the grid that may have engineers working on the cables. this can be remedied but so far outage frequency isn't worth the cost.

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Re: $2/kwh is a lot of money

It'll cost SCE $30,000 if they take the full 5kwh from each of the 3000 owners they expect to sign up ($10 each), but still it's only 15mwh total and apparently that's enough to power 11,250 homes @ 1.3kwh each on a Californian summer evening - No A/C units running I take it?

15mw is less than half the output from a single MT30 gas turbine generator which costs far less than $30k/hour to run but does cost a few million to pick up in the first place so it would take the powerwalls perhaps 200 one-hour events to catch up.

This provides such a marginal benefit (less than half a watt per Californian!) that it seems to me they're just putting a marker down for using other peoples hardware to avoid investing their own money in generator capacity. Their future blackout excuse being 'If only we had all the home batteries connected, this wouldn't have happened'.

AI chip adds artificial neurons to resistive RAM for use in wearables, drones

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As long as it's never connected to the internet or used in any real world hardware we should be ok.

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape

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Jou (Mxy.. came up with 30kw, that's valid* to provide power for 24h from the 6-8 or so usable sunny ones.

£250k is for the battery farm and the small field of panels needed to generate & store that power during the summer months.

Like AUS, most UK home installs are around the 4kw mark and at similar (sub £10k) cost, these generate enough power midday to cover 'most' home activities, overall they add up to not needing another GW scale gas/coal power plant operating during office hours for maybe half the year.

Winter heating in a UK home is in the order of 50kwh per day, it's utterly unfeasible to attempt that on site with solar this far North.

*if you're careful.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: single family dwelling vs apartment/condo counts anyone

Tesla megapacks will put out 1.5Mw for a couple of hours*, they're the size of an ISO shipping container and weigh in at 23 tonnes each. 12 units will give 24h of power and to recharge from Solar will require another 36 units and 72Mw of south facing solar panels.

Batteries : 48 ISO containers 1100 tonnes. (72Mwh total capacity)

Panels : 360,000 m2 or more than a third of a square kilometre.

1.5Mw output allows a touch under 47kw per floor.

This is based on a very optimistic 8 hours per day of max sunshine and 200w/m2 panels keeping a few hours of capacity in reserve. Near the equator it may be possible to be off grid all year, in the UK not a chance over winter.

Total cost - eye watering.

From here for home sized units;


£5,000 gets you 8kwh capacity at 4kw output (2h runtime), and take up a quarter of a cubic meter. To cook your Xmas turkey you'd need two running together for an average electric oven draw, a third one would let you use an electric hob for the veg but do you really want half a tonne of Lithium battery inside your house?

*Recharge is at the same rate.

Wellyboot Silver badge

I've 4kw of panels on my south facing roof*, it saves me perhaps 1,000kwh in a year which even now is barely £1 per day give or take.

For a few hours around every midday over the summer I'm able to use any electric appliance in my house - apart from the electric shower & oven, they'll burn 12 & 8kw respectively.

*Previous owner swallowed the 'free electric' line and handed over all the FIT payments in return for a zero cost install.

Wellyboot Silver badge

You suggest putting 150M2 (30kw @ 0.2kw/m2 ) of solar panels on a property and what else, tonnes of battery to store the power needed for winter? total cost over £250k? half the population can't afford the projected £4k annual gas/electric costs coming soon.

Take a look at the average UK house size, even the best prototype panels (@0.47kw/m2) won't fit, let alone on the south facing side.

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Re: Volcanoes ?

Indeed, a fast moving subduction zone would be a far better place to dump the nasties.

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Re: Bang On - except the death stats

It's all in the questions asked, and the ones that politicos decided to use in the late 80's.

Is burning less hydrocarbon fuel a good thing - Yes

Do diesel vehicles burn less per mile than petrol - Yes - ergo diesel is good for the environment.

Now please ignore the several books worth of verified science pointing out that just by using fossil based fuel we're mucking up the planet.

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Does Germany get 24/7 sunshine?

CIA accused of illegally spying on Americans visiting Assange in embassy

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He skipped bail for several years, anyone recaptured after doing that will end up inside. It's a high security prison because he's known to have associates willing to break the law in order to help him.

BOFH: Who us? Sysadmins? Spend time with other departments?

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Re: Management style fads! - Something Different

If the the roof is dripping onto the line workers it's also dripping onto the product.

Condensation would be bad enough, rain water entering the building will contain a host of pollutants and micro bugs.

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Re: Management style fads! - Something Different

No 'May' about it, unless hands are sterile to start with!

Adding plain water to skin bacteria just gives them a chance to hydrate and multiply.

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Re: "You need to listen to your users more" - Offsite Experts

"Because people managers are as interchangeable as Lego blocks"


Facebook hands over chats to cops in post-Roe abortion case

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>>>a channel that does not automatically record all your traffic!<<<<

That would be face to face verbal communications, out of earshot of any 'social media' owned devices.

Tesla Full Self-Driving 'fails' to notice child-sized objects in testing

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Re: Comparison

So what you're saying is that Tesla just needs humans performing 'road traffic control'* and all the problems will be fixed.

* for everything that is going to be on the road including wildlife.

Iran cheerfully admits using cryptocurrency to pay for imports

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The treasury are probably correct if they didn't mention any values.

Two BTC transactions for chai-latte (value £10) is twice as many transactions as one BTC transaction for weapon grade IR sensors (value £10m)

Virgin Galactic delays commercial suborbital flights again

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Re: Meanwhile

Beardie cashed out a long time ago.

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

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Re: At scale??? Yes, easily

Similar for Uranium, there's an awful lot not being mined because the demand just isn't there.

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Re: Anyone got any more paper napkins?

Depending on the model, 747s can have quite different fuel loads but the usable max is around 190 tonnes with optional tanks installed. Fuel burn rate depends on the total weight being carried and the engine type.

200+ pages of everything you've never asked about the 747-400 can be found here.


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Re: I am calling bullshit on this

Captured carbon or sucked out of the air, either way that's still far better than digging yet more fresh oil out of the ground to burn as jet fuel.

Only air sourced carbon would be carbon neutral and that's a near perfect solution for aircraft, the solar requirements here are on the large side but any non CO2 source of electric will do to provide the power, the obvious one to keep the plants running 24/7 is nuclear.

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Re: Bah!

Germany was using coal as the starting point so that's not really a good option anymore.

They could have made enough for their needs if they hadn't had regular visits by the RAF & USAAF landscaping specialists.

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Most western (and other) governments would love to be able to remove the need for importing hydrocarbons at great expense, they'd be able to get their sticky paws on the money that's currently leaving.

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Re: you focus on EVs were you can

>>>Thousands of quite successful years<<< existing mostly as farm labourers, one bad harvest from starvation and looking forward to the annual turnip whittling contest.

Wellyboot Silver badge

We either make our own steel or we import it, to make our own there will be a requirement for coal, we can either dig ours up or import it.

Technical viability - nothing here that we haven't been doing for centuries.

Economics are a poor secondary to politics here - home production protects UK jobs at the steel plants we still have and provides new jobs at the coal mine* & quite a few spin off facilities in between.

From a carbon perspective - not shipping the coal and or steel thousands of miles is a simple benefit.

*until an economically viable method can be found to remove all the Oxygen from iron ore (Fe2O3) without binding it to Carbon to make vast amounts of CO2

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: you focus on EVs were you can

It boils down to the total vehicle lifetime cost while you own it. For the budget conscious driver, yes, there's a regular maintenance bill* for old ICE powered cars, but very few reach anywhere near the annual rental cost of a new EV (cheapest up front way to run one) on a 3-5 year contract. The deposit for an EV will buy an old car outright then the monthly EV rental and recharge costs will buy a lot of petrol & maintenance.

Buying an older EV is taking a gamble with the battery life degradation curve and currently any serious maintenance is likely to be at dealer rates instead of fred round the corner.

In the UK rust from road salt tends to be the main killer of cars over 20 years old, many newer cars die when the ECU fails.

*from experience at 10-15 years old the costs suddenly peak due to everything getting old in short order, then they tail off as the age related failures become another recurring cost.

Surprise! The metaverse is going to suck for privacy

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Re: I think this gives too much credit to metaverse

I can't see how they get around the fact that anyone walking around with an active video camera strapped to their face will require permission1 (that won't be given) to use it in so many places they'd want to go, basically that's any non public space in the UK.

Medical facilities have serious confidentiality rules, Banks will have security & confidentiality issues, Bars, Restaurants, Hotels and most shops will want to keep customer information away from competitors at the lowest level and to provide some level of semi-private space from a PR viewpoint. There's also the red zones where public opinion just won't be moved into allowing these, Rest rooms, Changing rooms, Swimming pools and almost anywhere that children congregate.

Even if I didn’t consider the wholesale harvesting of personal data as abhorrent, for simple self protection I’d not wear one just to avoid the real danger of falling foul of UK law simply by being in the wrong place as someone has an 'oops' moment. In the UK mere possession of indecent images2 is a crime, the law is deliberately framed in that way because there is deemed no good reason for these pictures to exist beyond usage as evidence in criminal trials and the vast majority of the population agree.

1In some countries that will include stepping through their own front door.

2There’s a growing list of subjects.

Upgrading what might be the world's oldest running Linux install

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Chiark is well on its way to being a significant cultural artifact

Very good, carry on.

British intelligence recycles old argument for thwarting strong encryption: Think of the children!

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Re: Quite apart from online...

I think we've reached the point when mandatory psychological examination should be required for anyone putting themselves forward for political office.

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Re: Quite apart from online...

Airport body scanners.

Amazon buys US healthcare chain One Medical for $3.9bn

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Re: What I'd LOVE to see -

To avoid that, all they'll need do is show that data transfer is only INTO the HIPPA controlled medical system, if that happens to include a regulat data dump from the corner shop...

The healthcare provider* will send regular medical updates with helpful purchasing lifestyle suggestions to patients.

Give it a few years and the non HIPPA Amazon will have enough personal data to render the regulatory separation meaningless.

* email is from Medicalone not Amazon so it's all good and above board. (until we get a rebrand to amazonmedical)

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Re: Expectant mothers...

Waiting around for hours for little bundles of joy.

UK chemicals multinational to build hydrogen 'gigafactory'

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Re: Quick charging

The global vehicle fleet is estimated at around 1.5 billion, that's going to need orders of magnitude more rare earth production, some vehicles may last twenty years but batteries certainly won't, especially in demanding environments.

Taking the carbon out of hydro-carbon for fuel usage is very feasible.

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Re: Quick charging

There would have to be a rail goods yard at the docks and another next to the distribution centre, ideally the container would also have gone cross channel on a rail carriage from a similar setup over the other side, it would remove the majority of HGVs from our roads at stroke.

The Victorian system to do just that was ripped out over half a century ago.

In the early 1950s road transport was the future. To justify the motorways (symbol of post war progress) that lets us zip along for hundreds of miles bypassing dozens of town centres we needed lots of traffic to (A) keep the factories busy (B) raise the fuel duty to pay* for it and (C) clog up the towns so everyone would demand motorways.

* The alternative was paying a s**t tonne of money updating the rail system that was clapped out following WW2, where was that cash going to come from? Cheap option, bin most of the tracks, sell the land, get some cheap diesel locos for bit left.

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Replacing the current petrol/diesel distribution system will cost vast sums regardless of the choice between Hydrogen &/or Electric. The argument that we've started with electric so we should/must only carry on with that doesn’t carry much weight when the installed capacity is maybe 1% of requirements come the next decade.

Hydrogen has the benefit of being a near direct petrol replacement in terms of infrastructure with the major advantage that it can be stored for a fraction of the cost of electric and decouples electrical generation from final power usage. H production only need to keep ahead of the average long term usage which is far lower than peak.

The lower energy density of H will mean frequent top ups* but they'll only take a couple of mins, on a long trip with small children pulling up behind a car plugged into a charger gives maybe an average twenty(?) min wait before you start the recharge, what would you do if every slot is busy and also has a car waiting. Ideally there'd need to be a lot of car sized outlets in the public car park next to the coffee shops, the total draw could easily exceed 100Mw so some big cables need to be installed leading to a reliable grid (SMR not too far away?).

As an engineer the high efficiency from pure electric usage^ is very nice, but given that we’ve built and operated a petroleum system that wasted the majority of it’s energy for the last century I don’t see any problems with H being less efficient. If we decide to build the guaranteed generation capacity we need for maximum electric draw then using the spare capacity from the other 23 hours a day to produce H seems a good idea.

We can go full electric using millions of tonnes of rare earths and a vast grid to move the electric about, or use it to fill H tanks. Either way, we'll need a vast amount of extra generation capacity.

*it would only need to go as far as battery can manage on a good day and cost the same, consumer

choice will soon pick a winner.

^ from source to motive power at least. I’ve zero details for the system total life efficiency of modern batteries going from ore extraction to waste management, but I’m willing to bet it takes quite an interesting % of total life to outperform a simple(ish) cryo-tank holding H.

Wellyboot Silver badge

Re: Quick charging

A lot of metal - Just for the UK, moving to an all electric road fleet (some 30 million vehicles) will require well north of 15,000,000 tonnes of vehicle batteries and I'm erring on the light side with only half a tonne (of much better batteries) per vehicle.

HGVs may have several tonnes each.

Behold: The first images snapped by the James Webb Space Telescope

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Yup, this is part what I find utterly gobsmacking about the process.

We can spot a planet (identify its orbit & size mass etc.) just by watching for a regular tiny reduction in light arriving from its host star and spectrum changes affecting very very much less that 1% of the ever so slightly reduced light reaching us is enough to give us information about the planetary atmosphere.

Yet to actually see the planet we'd need a telescope far bigger than we could build with current technology - nanometre accuracy across 100s of square kilometres, it'd be junk long before we finished alignment.

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall

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Re: Support nightmare?

TBF, it was a deliberate feature* the Vdubs based cars had (not just the Golf or even VW), where holding the key against the spring in the unlock position for a couple of seconds would open all the electric windows.

The actual bug was passenger windows sometimes opening when you locked the car and walked away.

*90% certain it's in the manual.


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